News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Lee Announces Completed School Safety Projects to Reach Vision Zero

SFMTA Improves School Area Safety Citywide, Completing Four Projects in Past Four Months; Launches New “Safe Streets SF” Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced that San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) completed four school area safety projects to increase pedestrian safety Citywide and help San Francisco reach its Vision Zero goals. Joined by District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and partners from the San Francisco Safe Routes to Schools Coalition including Walk San Francisco, Mayor Lee made the announcement at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School as part of Walk and Roll to School Day, an effort to encourage more children and families to walk, bike, take transit and carpool to school.

“Walk and Roll to School Day grows every year as more and more families choose to walk, bike or take Muni to school,” said Mayor Lee. “Whether they are in the Sunset District or in the heart of SoMa, we want every student to be safe when they are walking to school. This November, voters have the opportunity to approve a $500 million transportation bond that will provide critical infrastructure improvements, including $142 million dedicated to making our City’s streets safer for our students.”

The SFMTA completed school area safety projects at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Sunset Elementary and AP Giannini Middle schools and West Portal Elementary School.

At Bessie Carmichael Elementary in SOMA, the SFMTA implemented a variety of engineering measures to make the area safer. Improvements include modified signals at 7th and Howard streets to increase crossing time, new signal phasing at 7th and Folsom streets giving pedestrians a head start on all four crosswalks, and new school zone signage. More improvements to calm traffic with newly marked crosswalks are also being planned and funded with support from Supervisor Jane Kim.

“Bessie Carmichael K-8 is at the heart of our SOMA Youth and Family Zone and is the poster child for critical Vision Zero improvements, as it is surrounded by freeway arterials and speeding commuters,” said Supervisor Kim, who fought for the Sherman Alley safety gate while serving on the Board of Education. “Parents, youth and seniors have been fighting for traffic calming in this neighborhood since this school was built. Our schools and senior centers should be the top priority for the city, especially in the most congested neighborhoods.”

Other school-area safety work recently completed includes:
•    Jefferson Elementary School (18th Avenue near Irving Street)
o    Six sidewalk bulbouts to increase visibility of pedestrians and shorten crossing distances
•    Sunset Elementary and AP Giannini Middle schools (39th Avenue and Ortega Street)
o    Five pedestrian refuge islands to which make it easier to cross street
o    Three sidewalk bulbouts to reduce crossing distance and improve visibility
o    Three newly marked crosswalks to increase pedestrian visibility
o    17 accessible curb ramps to enable better access for the elderly and people with disabilities
o    New bicycle lanes from 20th Avenue to Great Highway
•    West Portal Elementary School (Claremont Boulevard at Dewey Boulevard):
o    Five new traffic islands leading to an enhanced traffic circle on Dewey Boulevard, intended to slow vehicle speeds directly in front of the elementary school
o    Three sidewalk bulbouts and a new pedestrian refuge island to make it easier for students to cross the street
o    One speed cushion to slow vehicle traffic
o    New striping and signage installed to alert people driving of the new improvements

“The improvements on Ortega Street underscore a broader, citywide need to invest in building safer streets for all modes of travel for our families and communities,” said District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang. “With the support of the Mayor and every member of the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco voters will have the opportunity to invest in the future of transportation and safer streets through the $500 million transportation bond that will not raise property taxes. Together, we can ensure that everyone can travel safely throughout the City.”

The SFMTA also launched a comprehensive education and high-visibility enforcement campaign in support of pedestrian safety. “Safe Streets SF” is a new SFMTA campaign that includes radio ads aimed at helping all road users share San Francisco’s busy streets. A social media campaign has also been launched over Facebook and Twitter and the San Francisco Police Department will be increasing traffic enforcement on high-injury corridors, including Kearny Street, 6th Street, Geary Boulevard and Mission Street.

“We will continue building partnerships with our City’s schools, families and communities to improve street safety in school zones,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “We are also complementing our engineering efforts by executing thoughtful education campaigns. Safe Streets SF is focused on changing the behaviors that lead to serious pedestrian injuries and deaths. With nearly two-thirds of all pedestrian collisions caused by failings to give pedestrians their legal right-of-way, we want to be clear: all intersections are crosswalks. Whether it is a marked or unmarked crosswalk, please give the right-of-way to people walking.”

Funding for the school area safety work was provided by the SFMTA, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds, Caltrans Safe Routes to School Program, federal SAFETEA-LU money, and the San Francisco Country Transportation Authority.